The use of geothermal power for electricity was started in 1913. in Italy using geothermal energy from Larderello With a capacity of 250 kilowatts, it is the first geothermal power plant in the world to produce industrial electricity.
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This power plant was destroyed in World War II. but has been rebuilt. At present, it has developed and expanded into a 700 megawatt power plant. There is also a plan to increase the capacity to 1,200 megawatts. At present, it is still generating electricity after more than 100 years of electricity generation.
Currently, there are more than 250 geothermal power plants around the world. Geothermal power plants are often located in countries located at the cracks or boundaries of the tectonic plates, such as Russia, New Zealand, Mexico, Iceland, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc.
Thailand’s geothermal energy potential
Thailand has hot springs. Many of them are located in extinct volcanic rocks. or near the granite mass and sedimentary rocks of more than 100 different ages scattered in every region. except the Northeast And there is a temperature of hot water at the ground surface in the range of 40 – 100◦C and a geothermal power plant. at Mon Pin Sub-district, Fang District, Chiang Mai Province But the potential of Thailand’s geothermal resources is insufficient for commercial power generation. Because most of them are not much heat sources. Unlike the geothermal sources along the Ring of Fire.
6.6 Geothermal power plants in Thailand
Thailand’s only geothermal power plant is located in Fang District. Chiang Mai Province of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand Because the hot springs in Fang District are not very high in temperature, they are moderate. Therefore, it has to be a 2-cycle geothermal power plant, that is, heat from the geothermal to boil liquids with low boiling points such as ammonia or Freon to boil and turn into steam. and allow the boiling vapor of these liquids to spin the generator The power plant uses hot water from the borehole. Shallow water with a temperature of about 130 °C with a flow volume of 16.5 to 22 l/s to transfer heat to low boiling liquids. This power plant has been operating since 1989 with a capacity of 300 kilowatts, making it the first geothermal power plant in Southeast Asia.
by-products from geothermal power plant, Fang District
Every power plant will have some leftovers coming out. Geothermal power plants are the same. Hot water used in power plants when heat is transferred to working fluids. The temperature will drop to about 77 degrees Celsius. This water will no longer be able to be used in the power plant. But we can use this hot water to dry plants, vegetables and fruits.
The impact of using geothermal energy
Geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity. Although the use of geothermal energy does not cause serious environmental impacts. But there are some impacts as follows:
– Poisonous gasses, generally thermal energy obtained from geothermal sources. Often there are types of gasses that cannot be combined. These gasses are harmful to the respiratory system if inhaled. Therefore, there must be a way to eliminate these gasses by converting the gas to acid. By allowing that gas to pass into the water, which will cause a chemical reaction to become sulfuric acid. This acid can be utilized.
– minerals, water from some geothermal sources Contains high amounts of dissolved minerals. The use of that water and then releasing it to mix with natural water sources on the surface will affect the surface water system that can be used for agriculture or consumption. Therefore, before releasing the water, these minerals should be separated, sedimented or may be used to compress the water back to the surface, which must ensure that the water that is compressed will not flow into the natural groundwater sources. Normally heat water from geothermal sources. That has been used from the power generation system to have a lower temperature. But it may still be higher than the temperature of water in natural sources because there is still residual heat. Therefore, before draining water into natural water sources, the water temperature should be equal or close to the water temperature in natural sources first. Which may be used again is to bring through the drying system or to heat the house.
– land subsidence Which brings hot water from underground to use will cause that heat energy source to lose part of the material. This may cause land subsidence problems. Therefore, if hot water is pumped to use, water must be compressed, which may be used hot water or cold water from other sources, to be replaced in the adra at the same speed. to prevent land subsidence problems